House speaker urges Congress to ease Medicaid payment cuts to hospitals serving low-income patients

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., is calling on federal lawmakers to ease scheduled Medicaid Disproportionate Share Hospital payment cuts, according to the American Hospital Association.

The DSH payments were established under Medicaid to offset a portion of uncompensated care at hospitals that serve a disproportionate share of low-income patients. The ACA adjusted the funding available to states for these hospitals, and calls for annual aggregate reductions to Medicaid DSH payments. A $4 billion reduction in DSH payments is scheduled for Oct. 1, the beginning of fiscal year 2020.

During the association's annual meeting, the speaker characterized the cuts as “not tolerable.”

“DSH cuts threaten to erode the health of community hospitals, safety-net hospitals and rural hospitals, [affecting] the health of not only the families that rely on Medicaid, but any person who relies on these hospitals for care,” she said.

National healthcare groups, including the American Hospital Association, have continued to urge Congress to delay the cuts. 


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